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Old 12-02-2011, 11:24 PM   #1 
steftravels
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Talking Please share your homemade betta care tools!

Hi All
I wanted to share my 2 betta tools I have made over the years. If you would like I can get a picture and try and post it on the site.
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My first problem was catching my bettas, I heard that nets were bad (now I am not as afraid of nets) so I needed a quick way to catch bettas for various reasons when I had a larger tank. Betta are curious. If they don't see this makeshift betta catcher very often, they will want to look inside it and usually they will swim in on their own!

Betta Catcher
1 Betta Hex ( small hexagon shaped betta house) other shapes may work too but the hexagon one would get lodged in the tool very well
1 General aquarium net with an opening that is almost big enough for the betta hex.

What I would do is cut the net out of the net and bend the net shape around the betta hex. I would only place it near the back edge. You can use the handle to hold the hex in the water to catch the betta, pop the lid of the hex on, take it out of the water and the net easily slips off the bottom of the hex and voila, betta is caught!

-------------------
Betta Syphon - Cheap, Small, Low flow rate, Easy to set up!

1 Length of aquarium tubing, I like the really flexable kind, the blue one.
(this should be long enough to run the entire length of a turkey baster as well as extra to run into your bucket, about a metre I guess.
1 Turkey baster from the dollar store, with a rubber top

Take the turkey baster and a pair of scissors. Open the pair of scissors so there are two ends. Use one to poke a hole right in the top of the turkey baster (be careful!) it will look like the tubing will not fit in but it does. Shove one end of the aquarium tubing into the hole you made in the turkey baster. Push the tubing all the way through till it is almost at the bottom of the turkey baster at the opening. There is your tool

To use the syphon (which is great for almost any size tank I made it for a 1 gallon but use it for my 5 gallon) place the syphon in your tank. have the other end of the hose in a bucket. Do your best to make the bucket lower than the aquarium so the water will use gravity to flow. Squeeze the turkey baster, sometimes you have to do it a few times but it will start to suck the water up through the baster and into the hose, sometimes it helps to hold the turkey baster in the squeezed position to get the water to flow. Once it does you can move the baster around the tank It picks up all kinds of debris as well as pellets that have fallen. It works great to drain your tank too. Another good thing is mr or mrs betta cannot get stuck in the bottom of the turkey baster, and unlike just a turkey baster without the tube you don't have to keep taking it out of the tank, you can just move around and vaccume your betta's house!
-------------------

Please share your hand betta tools or if you have a better version of my tools I would love to hear about your modification!
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:14 AM   #2 
LittleBettas
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No pictures.... and the first isnt really a tool, its a mthod and trick that I stared with my male Hercules, a rescue with serious fin loss after being placed in another males cup at Walmart

When I feed bettas, I tap the top of the water a few time where I plan on dropping the pellets in, over time, where I tap my fingers is where my bettas will come up and "chill" for food, even if it is inside of a betta cup (which I use for holding during water changes)


The other "homemade tool" is the sameas yours more or less, though I just use a turky baster and suck up any uneaten food or poop I see at the bottom of the tank (every other day) it keeps the tanks a bit more clean :)
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:31 AM   #3 
RoyalBlueDarling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steftravels View Post
Hi All
I wanted to share my 2 betta tools I have made over the years. If you would like I can get a picture and try and post it on the site.
-------------------------
My first problem was catching my bettas, I heard that nets were bad (now I am not as afraid of nets) so I needed a quick way to catch bettas for various reasons when I had a larger tank. Betta are curious. If they don't see this makeshift betta catcher very often, they will want to look inside it and usually they will swim in on their own!

Betta Catcher
1 Betta Hex ( small hexagon shaped betta house) other shapes may work too but the hexagon one would get lodged in the tool very well
1 General aquarium net with an opening that is almost big enough for the betta hex.

What I would do is cut the net out of the net and bend the net shape around the betta hex. I would only place it near the back edge. You can use the handle to hold the hex in the water to catch the betta, pop the lid of the hex on, take it out of the water and the net easily slips off the bottom of the hex and voila, betta is caught!

-------------------
Betta Syphon - Cheap, Small, Low flow rate, Easy to set up!

1 Length of aquarium tubing, I like the really flexable kind, the blue one.
(this should be long enough to run the entire length of a turkey baster as well as extra to run into your bucket, about a metre I guess.
1 Turkey baster from the dollar store, with a rubber top

Take the turkey baster and a pair of scissors. Open the pair of scissors so there are two ends. Use one to poke a hole right in the top of the turkey baster (be careful!) it will look like the tubing will not fit in but it does. Shove one end of the aquarium tubing into the hole you made in the turkey baster. Push the tubing all the way through till it is almost at the bottom of the turkey baster at the opening. There is your tool

To use the syphon (which is great for almost any size tank I made it for a 1 gallon but use it for my 5 gallon) place the syphon in your tank. have the other end of the hose in a bucket. Do your best to make the bucket lower than the aquarium so the water will use gravity to flow. Squeeze the turkey baster, sometimes you have to do it a few times but it will start to suck the water up through the baster and into the hose, sometimes it helps to hold the turkey baster in the squeezed position to get the water to flow. Once it does you can move the baster around the tank It picks up all kinds of debris as well as pellets that have fallen. It works great to drain your tank too. Another good thing is mr or mrs betta cannot get stuck in the bottom of the turkey baster, and unlike just a turkey baster without the tube you don't have to keep taking it out of the tank, you can just move around and vaccume your betta's house!
-------------------

Please share your hand betta tools or if you have a better version of my tools I would love to hear about your modification!

These are the best ideas ever. Thanks so much for posting this. You have no idea ... I have a 3.7 gallon, and a 1.5 that I've been using to quarantine and cure a rescue betta. I also have one of those proper siphons, but can never make it work no matter what I do (and I refuse to suck on the end because that's awful), so I've resorted to using the turkey baster as is to vacuum the gravel in a 3.7 tank. My back is always sore afterwards. You've helped me heaps here. Thanks!

Also, I have to be the worst person in the world at netting fish. I've been watching videos of Thai breeders and they use a betta scoop, which to me looks like a regular net with something like umbrella material sown in so that it retains water while holding the betta. I really wanna make this and try it out, but your idea is very similar.

This is such a good thread.

PS: I use clear plastic salad tongs to move stuff around in the tank and to break the flow of new water. Because it's clear, it doesn't scare the betta at all. Sometimes mine will swim right up to it without realising it's there--this happens when I hold the soup spoon bit in to pour new water over the top in order to break the flow and stop it from disturbing the substrate.

Last edited by RoyalBlueDarling; 12-03-2011 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:05 PM   #4 
Myates
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I always use a cup to get them.. and I don't have to chase, just wait until they go to the top to beg for food/breathe or if you toss in a pellet.. and just scoop them up with their store cup. The suction of the water entering into the cup normally is enough to get them inside safely. Sometimes I will gently pour the cup into a net once done with acclimating them and place them gently back into the tank, allowing them to leave the net on their own. No damage done, and no stress from being chased.

Good idea using the baster to suck up the water :D I have smaller tanks for my bettas, but larger tanks I use larger siphons- I always just fill the siphon up with water, place one end in the bucket on the floor and the other I put into the tank and that creates the suction needed.. But will definitely keep the turkey baster method in mind if I decide to one day get 5-10 gals for dividing :)

Love the idea of the salad tongs :D May have to go pick me up some before my newest plants/decoration order comes in!

Otherwise I don't have any "tricks".. I sometimes will use cleaned out peanut butter containers to use to scoop out water from the kritter keepers as to not risk cracking them when moving them- also work great at holding your bettas too for cleaning or as a short term QT.

Last edited by Myates; 12-03-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #5 
EvilVOG
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let's see... first there's my homemade stand:


Then there's this baffle/ splash guard i built out of a gallon plastic jug for the filter:


And in that picture and the next is a guard to prevent the duckweed from getting into the filter discharge i made out of a "reptile hammock" from my reptile days, that also serves the purpose of being a shallow resting place for bettas, as my giant female will not leave that spot unless you reach in and physically touch her.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #6 
steftravels
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I love your splashguard, it's pretty great!

Oh what i meant about the turkey baster with the tube in it, is that it works as a small syphon. The smaller tanks you can't easily find one, I did see one online that you can hand prime but I haven't seen any where I live. I find it really hard to get water out of the tank sometimes, I have a bad back too. If I put the tube in the turkey baster it eliminates the need to lift the turkey baster out of the tank while it is cleaning. :)
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:35 PM   #7 
RoyalBlueDarling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steftravels View Post

Oh what i meant about the turkey baster with the tube in it, is that it works as a small syphon. The smaller tanks you can't easily find one, I did see one online that you can hand prime but I haven't seen any where I live. I find it really hard to get water out of the tank sometimes, I have a bad back too. If I put the tube in the turkey baster it eliminates the need to lift the turkey baster out of the tank while it is cleaning. :)
I get what you meant. It's awesome.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:37 AM   #8 
dbockrath
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Not really a tool, but the tip I remember (and I'm going to use the next time I buy betta food) is to use a pin to prick a hole in the foil covering instead of pulling the whole cover off, so you can shake out one or two pellets at a time.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:40 AM   #9 
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I use OFLs version of a homemade siphon, airline tubing and chopsticks to provide rigidity. Manual starting but it works the same.

For baffles I always rubberband a sponge over the out flow. Great baffle and an excellent spot to culture beneficial bacteria.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:27 AM   #10 
Silverfang
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nothing fancy, but when I feed frozen food I use an eye dropper to feed the boys and girls. Also, turkey basters are awesome on bare bottom tanks. An unused toothbrush is great for scrubbing algae.
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